Saturday, October 15, 2016

Final report details destructive New Mexico wildfire

Investigators have determined a wildfire that destroyed a dozen homes as it raced through part of the Manzano Mountains earlier this year started after a wood-chipping machine struck a rock and sent sparks flying into brush and forest debris. It took just minutes for a small patch of flames to erupt into a blaze that would burn for weeks and end up costing more than $10 million to put out. Details of the fire’s cause and the response by firefighters are outlined in a report released this week by forest officials. The Dog Head Fire charred about 28 square miles after it started in June. Residents in several communities along the eastern side of the central New Mexico mountain range were forced to gather their belongings and round up their livestock before fleeing their homes as the fire ballooned. The three-person crew that was using the machine to thin the area in hopes of preventing such a fire was armed with a shovel, an axe and one fire extinguisher. The report states the crew did not fight the flames because they were too intense. AP


The Albq. journal has a more complete article here.

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